Recently I took a US Airways Express flight from Augusta to Charlotte, N.C. Before the flight and just after the plane had landed, several young men who sat near me and who were obviously military personnel used four-letter words and variations thereof that were clearly audible and not suitable for mixed company.
Being retired military myself, I know such language can become commonplace on the job; however, it is never appropriate when in public.
When I spoke to one of them asking them to refrain from using such language in public in the future, he did not apologize and walked away. Unfortunately, these men did not present a positive image of our military.
Perhaps this was an isolated incident, as most active-duty service members do conduct themselves appropriately. Nonetheless, commanders and instructors at Fort Gordon need to remind their subordinates that their actions and their words spoken in public are a reflection of their service, and should be above reproach.
(The writer is a retired U.S. Air Force major.)